Evolution of polygamous marriage by maximization of inclusive fitness

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The majority of human societies practice polygynous marriage, in line with the typical mating pattern found in mammals. Polygyny in humans is often associated with the transfer of wealth to a male's sister's offspring, and it has been suggested that this "mother's brother phenomenon" is adaptive when paternity confidence is low. Polyandry, on the other hand, while virtually unknown in mammals, is practiced by a few human societies, and it has been suggested that this is adaptive if the co-husbands are genetically related. The evolution of human marriage strategies, therefore, can be studied in the framework of kin selection and game theory, as strategic transmission of wealth by males and strategic paternity allocation by females can evolve to maximize inclusive fitness. Here I analyse the stability of polygynous and polyandrous marriage using a game theoretical model previously developed to study monogamy. I show that the "mother's brother phenomenon" depends on the degree of resource depletion through division, whereas the paternity threshold commonly discussed in the anthropological literature is largely irrelevant. Resource depletion through division is also the major determinant of the stability of polyandry, whereas relatedness between co-husbands is not essential. Finally, I show that when females control the transfer of their own resources, monogamy is stable under more general conditions than previously believed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-143
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Volume319
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013

Fingerprint

marriage
Mammals
Marriage
Paternity
Fitness
paternity
Siblings
monogamy
polyandry
Game theory
Depletion
Spouses
Resources
Division
Mothers
mammals
Game Theory
game theory
kin selection
polygyny

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Applied Mathematics

Cite this

@article{ed6d796bd98b4a9ba82f1ba10d20662d,
title = "Evolution of polygamous marriage by maximization of inclusive fitness",
abstract = "The majority of human societies practice polygynous marriage, in line with the typical mating pattern found in mammals. Polygyny in humans is often associated with the transfer of wealth to a male's sister's offspring, and it has been suggested that this {"}mother's brother phenomenon{"} is adaptive when paternity confidence is low. Polyandry, on the other hand, while virtually unknown in mammals, is practiced by a few human societies, and it has been suggested that this is adaptive if the co-husbands are genetically related. The evolution of human marriage strategies, therefore, can be studied in the framework of kin selection and game theory, as strategic transmission of wealth by males and strategic paternity allocation by females can evolve to maximize inclusive fitness. Here I analyse the stability of polygynous and polyandrous marriage using a game theoretical model previously developed to study monogamy. I show that the {"}mother's brother phenomenon{"} depends on the degree of resource depletion through division, whereas the paternity threshold commonly discussed in the anthropological literature is largely irrelevant. Resource depletion through division is also the major determinant of the stability of polyandry, whereas relatedness between co-husbands is not essential. Finally, I show that when females control the transfer of their own resources, monogamy is stable under more general conditions than previously believed.",
author = "Marco Archetti",
year = "2013",
month = "2",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.11.017",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "319",
pages = "134--143",
journal = "Journal of Theoretical Biology",
issn = "0022-5193",
publisher = "Academic Press Inc.",

}

Evolution of polygamous marriage by maximization of inclusive fitness. / Archetti, Marco.

In: Journal of Theoretical Biology, Vol. 319, 01.02.2013, p. 134-143.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Evolution of polygamous marriage by maximization of inclusive fitness

AU - Archetti, Marco

PY - 2013/2/1

Y1 - 2013/2/1

N2 - The majority of human societies practice polygynous marriage, in line with the typical mating pattern found in mammals. Polygyny in humans is often associated with the transfer of wealth to a male's sister's offspring, and it has been suggested that this "mother's brother phenomenon" is adaptive when paternity confidence is low. Polyandry, on the other hand, while virtually unknown in mammals, is practiced by a few human societies, and it has been suggested that this is adaptive if the co-husbands are genetically related. The evolution of human marriage strategies, therefore, can be studied in the framework of kin selection and game theory, as strategic transmission of wealth by males and strategic paternity allocation by females can evolve to maximize inclusive fitness. Here I analyse the stability of polygynous and polyandrous marriage using a game theoretical model previously developed to study monogamy. I show that the "mother's brother phenomenon" depends on the degree of resource depletion through division, whereas the paternity threshold commonly discussed in the anthropological literature is largely irrelevant. Resource depletion through division is also the major determinant of the stability of polyandry, whereas relatedness between co-husbands is not essential. Finally, I show that when females control the transfer of their own resources, monogamy is stable under more general conditions than previously believed.

AB - The majority of human societies practice polygynous marriage, in line with the typical mating pattern found in mammals. Polygyny in humans is often associated with the transfer of wealth to a male's sister's offspring, and it has been suggested that this "mother's brother phenomenon" is adaptive when paternity confidence is low. Polyandry, on the other hand, while virtually unknown in mammals, is practiced by a few human societies, and it has been suggested that this is adaptive if the co-husbands are genetically related. The evolution of human marriage strategies, therefore, can be studied in the framework of kin selection and game theory, as strategic transmission of wealth by males and strategic paternity allocation by females can evolve to maximize inclusive fitness. Here I analyse the stability of polygynous and polyandrous marriage using a game theoretical model previously developed to study monogamy. I show that the "mother's brother phenomenon" depends on the degree of resource depletion through division, whereas the paternity threshold commonly discussed in the anthropological literature is largely irrelevant. Resource depletion through division is also the major determinant of the stability of polyandry, whereas relatedness between co-husbands is not essential. Finally, I show that when females control the transfer of their own resources, monogamy is stable under more general conditions than previously believed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84872673906&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84872673906&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.11.017

DO - 10.1016/j.jtbi.2012.11.017

M3 - Article

C2 - 23195920

AN - SCOPUS:84872673906

VL - 319

SP - 134

EP - 143

JO - Journal of Theoretical Biology

JF - Journal of Theoretical Biology

SN - 0022-5193

ER -